Australian broadcaster, SBS, has announced Dami Im will represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden! After Guy Sebastian wowed Europe with a top 5 finish as Australia’s first ever Eurovision contestant in 2015, Australia is back for another dose of Eurovision glitz and glamour, and another shot at Eurovision glory.
Dami was announced on stage tonight by Eurovision 2014 winner, Conchita Wurst, and Australia’s first ever Eurovision contestant Guy Sebastian at the Conchita: From Vienna with Love concert with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, held at the iconic Sydney Opera House. According to SBS:
We have selected Dami as the perfect artist to capture Europe’s attention with her unique personal style and show-stopping voice; an artist who is ready to showcase our musical talent to the world.
Born in South Korea, Dami moved to Logan Valley, Brisbane, with her family when she was 9. In 2013 Dami stepped into the spotlight from nowhere, taking out the X Factor crown and winning the hearts of over 3 million Australians with her astonishing voice and transformation into a fully-fledged pop diva.
Since then, Dami has earned #1 chart positions and multi-platinum sales for the likes of her self-titled debut album and hit singles Alive, Super Love and Gladiator.
Unlike last year where Australia was a wild card entry straight to the Grand Final, Dami will compete in the second Semi-Final and must get enough votes to go through to the Final.Gallery: Australia: Dami Im revealed at the Sydney Opera House
The perfect artist for Australia
The song Dami will sing on the Eurovision stage will be released worldwide by the 11th of March. Dami Im said:
I am so thrilled and honoured to be representing Australia at Eurovision this year in Stockholm. I am really excited to be following in the footsteps of Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy who have both graced the Eurovision stage before me. I truly believe that the Australian public and Eurovision fans around the world are going to love the song I will be performing in Sweden. I cannot wait to showcase it to the world and represent Australia to the best of my ability!
SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said.
Australia has embraced the Eurovision spirit for over 30 years on SBS, but we’re a competitive nation, and last year with our very own contestant to cheer for and a chance of winning, Australia was completely captivated by the contest on the other side of the world. Reaching over 4 million Australians, it was our biggest Eurovision audience ever.
We’re thrilled to be welcomed back to the Eurovision family this year, and Dami is the perfect artist to take that next step for Australia on the world’s biggest stage. The essence of the Eurovision Song Contest is about bringing countries together for a celebration of their diversity and culture through music, and it’s that element which resonates so strongly with SBS’s own purpose.
Australian Head of Delegation, Director of Blink TV, SBS’s Eurovision production partner, Paul Clarke said:
We are delighted to be invited to Sweden, and we feel we couldn't have a stronger competitor. Dami has huge musical talent, and her story is like a modern Australian fairy-tale. I expect Eurovision 2016 to be a thrilling, page-turning chapter for her, and for Eurovision fans.
Dami's voice is so powerful and she has a distinctive style that I expect will capture the attention of Europe. I encourage our Eurovision fans across the nation and Europe to really get behind her, and to become the Dami army!
ABOUT DAMI IM
Born in South Korea, Dami moved to Brisbane, Australia with her family when she was 9 years old. Her adventures with music started earlier at just five years of age, which led to classical piano and a Masters degree in singing jazz. Although Dami had a noticeable talent for this genre, pop music was her real passion.
In 2013 Dami Im arrived in the spotlight, seemingly out of nowhere, and found herself a home in the sonic heart of Australia. Dami won The X Factor on the strength of her astonishing voice and palpable sense of artistry. More success followed as Dami earned multiple ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) accreditations, including #1 chart positions and multi-platinum sales for the likes of her self-titled debut album and hit singles Alive, Super Love and Gladiator.
It is obvious that Dami is not only an artist of the new millennium, but possesses a remarkably dynamic artistry that can transcend Australian borders. Her success has extended from her home in Australia to Asia including China, Hong Kong, Singapore and most satisfyingly, her birth country of Korea. Now 2016 is the year for Dami to exhibit her talent globally.
The EBU Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, voted unanimously in favour of Australia's participation. "Europe and Australia have a lot in common in regards to cultural values and when a broadcaster is so committed to bring great acts to the contest, the only right thing to do is to be inclusive," says Dr. Frank Dieter Freiling, Chairman of the Reference Group. “This is also a way for many Australians to re-connect with their European roots, and celebrate our shared cultural values and understanding through music”, he added.
"The feedback we got from viewers, fans, press and the broadcasters after Australia's participation in Vienna was overwhelmingly positive," says Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the contest on behalf of the EBU. "We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event. Australia's continued participation is an exciting step in that direction, "It remains to be seen what such an event may look like in the long run," Sand continues.
Last year in Vienna, Australia was guaranteed a spot in the final. For 2016 Australia will have to compete in the second Semi-Final on Thursday the 12th of May. It is yet to be decided whether Australia will become a permanent participant in the contest.
"SBS is thrilled to have secured this opportunity for Australia to compete at Stockholm in 2016 and thank the EBU for their invitation. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful example of cultural diversity and social inclusion and our continued participation offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase Australian musical talent in a truly international multicultural celebration." says CEO and Managing Director SBS, Michael Ebeid.
In case Australia wins the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, the 2017 contest will be co-hosted by Australian broadcaster SBS and another European public broadcaster, somewhere in Europe.